Title:
Construction System For Seamlessly Adjoining Panels
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
What is disclosed is a construction system which comprises interconnectable mounting elements for panels. The mounting elements are constructed in such a manner that a practically seamless joint is obtained between adjoining panels. In addition, the mounting elements are hidden from view by the panels. The invention prevents the occurrence of interruptions in pictures on presentation surfaces in particular by the uprights (3-1) of the mounting elements. The construction system thus provides an enhanced advertising quality. Since the individual parts of the pictures join each other seamlessly on the panels, there will be less fragmentation in the visual perception thereof. On the other hand, this is not achieved by sacrificing essential mechanical stability, safety or capacity to bear loads, for example lighting fixtures.



Inventors:
Truijens, Hendricus Michael Thimotheus (Almere, NL)
Application Number:
11/720141
Publication Date:
04/03/2008
Filing Date:
11/21/2005
Assignee:
ABC DISPLAY INDUSTRY B.V. (Almere, NL)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
403/345
International Classes:
E04B2/74
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KENNEDY, JOSHUA T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OBLON, MCCLELLAND, MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P. (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A construction system comprising interconnectable mounting elements for panels, characterized in that the mounting elements are constructed in such a manner that a practically seamless joint is obtained between adjoining panels.

2. A construction system according to claim 1, characterized in that the construction system comprises mounting elements that are hidden from view by the panels.

3. A construction system according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the panels have at least one presentation surface, behind which the mounting elements are disposed.

4. A construction system according to any one of the claims 1-3, characterized in that the mounting elements are straight or bent in shape.

5. A construction system according to any one of the claims 1-4, characterized in that one or more of the mounting elements are provided with means for mounting the panels thereto.

6. A construction system according to claim 5, characterized in that the panel mounting means comprise magnetic means.

7. A construction system according to any one of the claims 1-6, characterized in that the mounting elements comprise uprights and ledgers.

8. A construction system according to any one of the claims 1-7, characterized in that the panel mounting means comprising magnetic means are present on the front side and/or the rear side of the uprights and/or the ledgers.

9. A construction system according to any one of the claims 1-8, characterized in that the uprights and/or the ledgers of the mounting elements are provided with slots for at least partially receiving the magnetic means of the panel mounting means therein.

10. A construction system according to any one of the claims 1-9, characterized in that the construction system comprises several panel constructions, a panel construction comprising a panel or panel portion that is at least partially supported by the mounting elements, wherein at least the uprights are provided with connecting means.

11. A construction system according to claim 10, characterized in that the connecting means in the uprights comprise magnetic means, locking means, clamping means, snap means or screw means.

12. A construction system according to claim 11, characterized in that the construction system is made of a magnetisable, metal containing material, for example a plastic material or a light metal, such as aluminium.

13. A construction system according to claim 11 or 12, characterized in that the connecting means comprise accessories to be coupled to open end portions of the mounting elements.

14. A method wherein a stand is erected by using a construction system according to any one of the claims 1-13, wherein mounting means are interconnected and a panel is mounted to the mounting elements, which panel seamlessly joins an adjacent panel.

15. A method according to claim 14, characterized in that the seamless joint is located on the upright.

Description:

The present invention relates to a construction system comprising interconnectable mounting elements for panels.

The present invention furthermore relates to a method wherein a stand is erected by using such a construction system.

Such a construction system is generally known. Construction systems are known which comprise mounting elements in the form of uprights that are connected to ledgers. Panels are mounted between said uprights, which panels comprise presentation surfaces with commercial texts or pictures present thereon. These constructions are used for erecting a stand or a booth for use at, for example, an exhibition or a fair.

A drawback of the known construction systems is the fact that frequently especially the somewhat larger pictures displayed on the presentation surfaces appear to lose some of their expressiveness.

The object of the present invention is to provide an improved construction system as well as a method for erecting the same, which construction system has sufficient mechanical stability and which, irrespective of its dimensions, exhibits a more convincing expressiveness and is thus more suitable for use in a stand at a fair.

In order to accomplish that object, the construction system according to the invention is characterized in that the mounting elements are constructed in such a manner that a practically seamless joint is obtained between adjoining panels.

A corresponding feature is realised by the method according to the invention, wherein mounting means are interconnected and a panel is mounted to the mounting elements, which panel seamlessly joins an adjacent panel.

The inventor has come to realise that a construction system that does not exhibit the shortcoming of interrupted pictures and presentation surfaces, which occurs in particular in the case of somewhat larger pictures, will gain in advertising quality. Since the individual parts of the pictures on the panels join each other seamlessly, there will be less fragmentation in the visual perception and the optical persuasiveness, which is essential in the creation of effective publicity, will be advantageously enhanced.

On the other hand, this advantage is not obtained at the expense of the required mechanical stability, safety or capacity to bear loads, for example lighting fixtures, because the mounting elements are positioned behind or between the seamless panels, which may be designed for double-sided use, if desired. Various known types of panel mounting means may be used for securing the panels to the mounting elements.

An advantageous embodiment of the construction system according to the invention is characterized in that the uprights and/or the ledgers of the mounting elements are provided with slots for at least partially receiving the magnetic means of the panel mounting means therein.

The advantage of this embodiment of the construction system according to the invention is that the magnetic panel mounting means enable a very quick assembly and disassembly and, moreover, a quick and easy exchange of the panels with the whole or partial pictures present thereon.

Another embodiment of the construction system according to the invention is characterized in that the construction system comprises several panel constructions, a panel construction comprising a panel or panel portion that is at least partially supported by the mounting elements, wherein at least the uprights are provided with connecting means.

In this embodiment, panel constructions can readily be placed into abutment with each other and be interconnected, thus making it possible to realise a seamless picture or series of associated pictures extending over several panels.

The connecting means in the uprights may advantageously comprise magnetic means, locking means, clamping means, snap means or screw means, so that the panel constructions can be quickly detached with a view to realising a quick assembly and disassembly of the construction system as a whole.

The construction system and the method according to the present invention will now be explained in more detail with reference to the figures below, in which like parts are indicated by the same numerals. In the drawing:

FIG. 1 shows a possible embodiment of a display system in which the construction system according to the invention is implemented;

FIG. 2 shows a possible embodiment of a profile of a upright for use in the construction system that is shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows the profile of FIG. 2, which is provided with connecting means for connection to adjacent uprights, and

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of an open end portion 14 of a mounting element embodied by an upright 3-1.

FIG. 1 shows an independent part of a display system 1, in which a construction system 2 is implemented. The construction system 2 comprises interconnectable mounting elements 3 in the form of uprights 3-1 and ledgers 3-2. Panels 4 are mounted to said mounting elements 3, which panels comprise presentation surfaces 5 on which commercial texts and/or pictures are generally present, which are usually glued thereto.

The mounting elements 3 are positioned behind the panels 4, and in the illustrated embodiment, in which both sides of the construction system 2 are provided with panels 4, the mounting elements 3 are positioned between the panels 4. In this way the pictures on the adjoining panels 4 join each other without any objectionable seams present there between, and the uprights and the ledgers of the mounting elements 3 are furthermore hidden from view, in particular from the front and from the rear, by the pictures and/or by the panels 4 that are mounted thereon.

The mounting elements 3 have straight or bent shapes, so that all kinds of practical shapes, freestanding shapes if desired, including shapes that are bent in various directions, can be constructed by combining straight or bent ledgers 3-2 that are to be mounted between or on the uprights 3-1. The uprights 3-1 are profiled and the ledgers are usually straight or bent strips that can be screwed down in the profile of the uprights 3 by means of bolts 6.

FIG. 2 shows a detail of the possible profile of the upright 3-1 as also shown in FIG. 1, in which the bolts 6 are concealed in the profile of the upright 3-1. In this embodiment, the projecting outer side of the upright 3-1 is provided with panel mounting means 7, which are embodied as magnetic strips 7 with a view to enabling the required rapid assembly and disassembly. The panel mounting means 7 are used for securing the panel or panels 4 to the upright 3-1. As already said before, said securing may take place on the front side, on the rear side or on both sides of the uprights and/or ledgers. In this case the uprights 3-1 of the mounting elements 3 are provided with slots 8 formed in longitudinal direction, which function to prevent the magnetic strips 7 from being displaced.

In general the construction system 2 will comprise several panel constructions 9, a panel construction 9 comprising a panel or panel portion 4 that is at least partially supported by the mounting elements 3. It stands to reason that also the ledgers 3-2 may be provided with magnetic or non-magnetic panel mounting means 7. The magnetic panel mounting strips 7 comprise a magnetisable material, for example a plastic material mixed with magnetisable particles, such as iron particles. According to another possibility, the mounting element 3 is magnetic as a whole, but generally it will be made of a simple and inexpensive light metal, such as aluminium that can be produced at low cost by means of an extrusion process.

FIG. 3 shows a possible embodiment of connecting means 10 that are movable within the profile of the upright 3-1 and which can be clampingly fitted therein, via which connecting means uprights 3-1 positioned adjacently to each other can be interconnected. In this embodiment the profile of the upright 3-1 is a hollow tube 11 cut through in longitudinal direction, around which the connecting means 10, in this case made of an elastic material such as a plastic, clampingly engage. The connecting means 10 are double-sided and also clamp around the corresponding hollow tube 11 of an adjacent upright 3-1. The detachable clamping action of the connecting means 10 makes it possible to achieve a strong and rapid assembly and disassembly of the construction system 1 that anybody is capable of carrying out while using little force. According to some variants (not shown), the connecting means 10 of the uprights comprise magnetic means, locking means, other clamping means, snap means or screw means.

The cut-through hollow tubes 11 and thus the uprights 3-1 are interconnected in longitudinal direction by clampingly fitting coupling pins 13 therein, which pins may or may not be provided with external screw thread. The coupling pins 13 may be doubled to form a kind of twin pin, and one pin is then inserted in the hollow tube 11, which provides possibilities to fixedly couple neighbouring elements 3-1. Thereto the tube 11 is provided with a longitudinal slit 12. The connecting means 10 may be provided with an embossment (not shown) which protrudes into the slit 12, in order to prohibit unwanted rotation of the means 10 relative to the element 3-1, but which allows their relative longitudinal movement.

The possibilities of interconnecting uprights so as to achieve an extension in vertical and/or in horizontal direction that are realised in this manner result in a construction system 1 in the form of modular system of walls or panels 4 whose length and width can be extended to form an endless system. The panels 4 are usually made of a lightweight material, such as a plastic, and may be transparent, with seamless pictures being present on the inner side of the practically seamless panels, if desired, so that a partial see-through effect can be realised, if desired.

The seam N between the pictures and/or the panels 4, which will be hardly visible in practice, may be present at or in front of the uprights 3-1, near the panel mounting means 7, but it may also be present elsewhere between the uprights 3-1, depending on the dimension of the panels. These different possibilities make for a flexible construction and a freedom of choice as far as the dimensions and the placement of the construction system 2 is concerned.

In addition further accessories may be inserted in or clampingly coupled to the profiled uprights 3-1 and/or ledgers 3-2. In particular coupling pieces other then 12 and 13, such as end pieces for covering and protecting open ends of the profiles shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, or longitudinal pieces can be inserted in or coupled to the mounting elements 3 as such accessories.

FIG. 4 shows such an open end portion 14 of the upright 3-1 and illustrates two tabs 15-1 and 15-2 which are part of an end piece, which is capable of covering the open end 14 of the profiled upright 3-1. The tabs 15 are inserted in openings left between the outer area of the inner tube 11 and the outer side of the upright 3-1. FIG. 4 also illustrates the longitudinal piece 16 which clamps or snatches in the profile 3-1. One further example of a coupling piece as accessory, not shown in the figures can be inserted in the profiled end portion 14, for example through tabs 15 or coupling pin 13. The coupling piece is embodied such that if provided at an end of a vertical upright it provides the necessary space at the end portion 14 for a strip to be inserted in the space to allow a sliding of the strip in horizontal direction. The strip is embodied to flex in horizontal direction in order to follow the presentation surfaces 5 which may then be curved. Such a strip if provided with a possibly prefabricated glue can serve to adhere on the spot at the fair an additional photo, poster or the like to the panels 4.

The flexible and bendable panels 4 forming or carrying photos and shown in FIG. 1 can easily be given the wanted shape and curvature, after having erected the construction system 1. Contrary to the prior art system of U.S. Pat. No. 5,081,749 the panels 4 do not form part of the construction system 1, as the panels 4 do not take up forces of the frame construction system 1. Consequently the panels and therewith the system 1 as a whole can be given a light weight, are easily and compactly portable, take up a low volume and are easily movable. As stated above the panels 4 are for example magnetically mounted to the mounting elements 3 without requiring building tools. This decreases the time to build up a booth at a fair.